BFYW SET TO ACQUIRE BODY CARE & HAIRCARE BRAND MANGO MOI
Better For You Wellness is gearing up to acquire body care and hair care brand Mango Moi three month
The acquisition will be an all-stock transaction, according to Ian James, CEO of BFYW and founder of The Ideation Lab, a CBD brand incubator and investor. Mango Moi’s founder and CEO Amanda Cayemitte describes it as an acqui-hire. She’s staying on board as chief visionary officer to spearhead product launches, work on branding and remain the face of the brand.
“We have a significant commitment to support female leaders, and we are proud to partner with Amanda as she begins to scale in this industry,” says James. “We have seen what Mango Moi accomplished in sales and built a following of loyal consumers during the pandemic.”
BFYW chief brand officer Stephen Letourneau, also chief brand officer and general manager of skincare brand Cannuka, another BFYW acquisition, will work alongside Cayemitte to guide Mango Moi’s growth strategy. James says, “We firmly believe that BFYW can help Mango Moi find greater efficiencies and scale with lower cost of goods, lower manufacturing and operations costs. Our goal is to expand and enhance advertising, provide a strong sales team and streamline processes to make the company a go-to in clean beauty with a laser-like focus on body positivity.”
Cayemitte started Mango Moi with $20,000 from a close friend and has bootstrapped it to date. The brand launched in February 2020 with three body butters: Mango Essence, Mango Pomegranate and Sweet Rose. Today, Mango Moi has five body butters and five scrubs priced at $20 and $25. The products can be used interchangeably on the body, hair and scalp.
Cayemmite first sought out mango butter at the suggestion of her then co-worker and now business partner Yapo M’Be as a solution to her chronically dry skin. “It was the only thing that kept my skin moisturized for over 24 hours and into the next day when I needed to shower again,” she says. In addition to mango butter, Mango Moi’s products incorporate baobab oil, kukui nut oil and murumuru butter.
Millennials are Mango Moi’s primary customers, but it picked up a gen Z audience after October 2020, when Cayemmite hired a graphic designer to redesign the brand’s packaging to be brighter and more sophisticated. Previously, Mango Moi’s packaging stuck to orange and white. Today, it’s splashed with oranges, pinks, reds and yellows. On top of the redesign, she enlisted her gen Z cousins to help with packing products, handling customer service, taking photos and reaching out to influencers.
“I want it to be fun and vibrant because having dry skin or eczema or psoriasis isn’t fun, it’s uncomfortable, it’s itchy,” says Cayemmite. “I want them [customers] to be excited to use a product that works for them, so I wanted my branding to really reflect that excitement.”
At Mango Moi’s launch, Cayemmite planned to host pop-up shops around Chicago to get in front of consumers. The pandemic forced her to pivot to paid marketing. “I just realized everyone was on their phone a lot more, so that’s when we really pushed Facebook and Instagram ads,” she says. One Facebook advertisement featuring her laying next to six boxes ready to be shipped out went viral. Cayemmite says, “We got like 10,000 likes on it and hundreds of comments, and people really got exposed to us in that way.”
She hopes Mango Moi achieves greater exposure with the assistance of BFYW and tackles broader issues like body positivity. Securing a retailer like Target or Ulta Beauty is an 18-month goal. Cayemmite currently makes Mango Moi’s products at home, but she’d love to expand the assortment to items that “need a little bit more expertise beyond my level to create, like a body wash or a body serum.” She points out that BFYW is set to acquire a manufacturer, which could speed up that process.
James confirms that the company is seeking to close a deal with a Canadian natural skincare manufacturer in the Vancouver area where BFYW aims to manufacture its brands. It has expansion into Canada, Asia, the United Kingdom, the European Union and other global markets on the roadmap, too. “Our goal will be to leverage the synergistic buying power of multiple clean beauty brands BFYW is assembling,” says James. “BFYW is building efficiencies of scale on various aspects of brands, including packaging, containers, ingredients, salesforce, advertising, etc.”
From the beginning of the brand, Cayemmite wanted Mango Moi to be acquired, but she didn’t expect a deal to happen so soon. “I know the typical timeframe could be anywhere from five to 10 years,” she says. She connected with James at a venture capital event in Atlanta last August. She was preparing to raise money and was interested in learning about the process from investors in attendance when a friend of a friend told her he knew of someone looking to acquire beauty brands. BFYW, a micro-SPAC or special purpose acquisition company, raised over $30 million last year to acquire companies.
“I kind of thought about it and I said, I mean, why not? I want to do it eventually, and it could work out perfectly,” remembers Cayemmite. “What’s funny is they sent the letter of intent to acquire us on our 2-year anniversary, February 1st, in Black History Month. It just felt like divine timing.”